You finally have your own motorcycle, and it's parked in your driveway and ready for your next ride. But whether you plan to use your bike as your sole transportation or just the occasional Saturday pleasure trip, you'll still need to insure it against theft or damage. Even if you're willing to take the risk, you're legally required to carry insurance on any vehicle you take on the roadways.
What Is Motorcycle Insurance?
Just like car insurance, motorcycle insurance protects your investment, keeping your bike safe if you get in an accident. But also like your auto coverage, motorcycle insurance protects you if you cause property damage or injure someone while you're riding. Your auto insurance doesn't cover your motorcycle, although you may be able to get motorcycle coverage from the same insurer that protects your other vehicles. In fact, you may even get a discount for having multiple vehicles on the same policy. You can customize the amount of coverage you have on your motorcycle, whether you want to completely replace it or only cover damage you might cause to others.
What Is Required for Motorcycle Insurance?
Although you do make the choice as to whether you protect your own motorcycle against loss, state law generally requires you at least protect others. If you're pulled over while driving your bike, you'll be required to show proof of this insurance to avoid a ticket, so it's important to at least know the minimums for your own state. In North Carolina, for instance, you must carry liability insurance of at least $30,000 to $60,000 for bodily injury or death and $25,000 in property damage. In California, though, you're only required to carry liability insurance of $15,000 to $30,000 for bodily injury and $5,000 for property damage.
The Best Motorcycle Insurance
Although there are many options for motorcycle insurance, both Progressive and Nationwide get high marks for their coverage options, online claim-filing features and 24/7 claim support. Progressive is best if you have a specialty or vintage bike. If you need high coverage limits, check into Nationwide. Markel American is another insurer worth considering, since it is highly reviewed for its range of coverage. If you're looking for the best prices, check into Safeco's prices, since they're known for their impressive discounts.
Motorcycle Insurance Cost
There are many factors that go into determining how much you'll pay for motorcycle insurance, including where you live and the amount of coverage you choose. But on average, motorcycle insurance costs $519 a year in the U.S., which breaks down to a $43.25 monthly fee. This is significantly less than auto insurance typically costs. But you could find it's much less if you live in a state like North Dakota, where motorcycle insurance is $24 per month. That cost can go as high as $75 per month in Louisiana, where rates are the highest. It's notable that the states where motorcycle insurance is most affordable are those with the highest number of registered motorcycles per resident.
Other Things You Should Consider
If you have a motorcycle, you may assume theft is your biggest concern, but it's actually fourth on the list of top insurance claims. It's notable, though, that theft isn't even in the top five of insurance claims for automobiles. Motorcycles are more at risk of being stolen than cars, but they're also more likely to get into accidents not involving another motor vehicle. The No. 1 motorcycle insurance claim is single-vehicle accidents, followed by rear-end accidents and intersection accidents. Contrast this with auto claims, where rear-end accidents are most likely, followed by single-vehicle crashes and accidents where the vehicle was parked.
- CarInsurance.com: Minimum liability car insurance requirements by state
- TrustedChoice: Learn Motorcycle Insurance 101
- DMV.org: Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in North Carolina
- DMV.org: Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in California
- Reviews.com: The Best Motorcycle Insurance
- ValuePenguin: Average Cost of Motorcycle Insurance (2018)